Parked With 967 Miles: 1972 Corvette Convertible

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

Just when you think there are no more stories of brand-new muscle cars parked with nearly no miles on the clock, another one surfaces. This 1972 Corvette convertible was purchased new its only owner in his early 20s, and driven sparingly after the cost of insuring proved higher than expected. The full story found here on HotRod.com is a fun read and one many of us can sympathize with who have ever uttered the words, “And life gets in the way.”

When the owner went to buy a new Corvette in 1972, he wanted the hottest model on offer: a ZR1. Living at home and yet unmarried, he had the kind of scratch one needed to buy the monster Corvette, but the dealer repeatedly dissuaded him from purchasing it. Citing his age and inexperience with such a high-performance car, the young enthusiast relented and took the next best thing: a drop-top car with the 454 and a four-speed stick. Life was gravy until he called to order insurance for the vehicle.

That’s when reality set in. Young, unmarried and male, his agent told him to wait until he was 25 and had a spouse. Then, the rate would drop significantly enough that he could afford to insure it. Instead, 25 came and went and the young man started a family. The Corvette continued to sit, and sit and sit some more. He barely used it, racking up a mere 987 miles. The irony is, had he been relentless and ordered the ZR1, he’d have a nearly new example of one of the rarest Corvettes ever made.

That being said, a new 454-equipped ‘Vette isn’t the worst investment, either. Bryar Blue is a fantastic color and looks great with the white top. The tires are original and the motor has never been apart, so this Corvette is likely quite unrepeatable – but to preserve that investment, the next owners will have to be careful not to exceed the three digits currently on the odometer. No word on whether he intends to sell, but we’re confident the return on investment will be favorable – the ZR1 notwithstanding.

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Comments

  1. BRAKTRCR

    So he had enough to pay cash for the car, but not enough to insure it? No I didn’t read the article, but seems kind of odd to me. I knew insurance was bad when I first got my license, and I knew then, that Corvette, or any other “performance” car, insurance would be crazy, even if I could afford to buy the car. If he financed the car, it would have to be insured…
    Quite the find regardless

    5+
    • stevee

      While I was in VietNam, I saved up $$ to buy and pay cash for the car I wanted. It wasn’t a Corvette, but it was something I shopped for and bought. A high school friend saved up and bought a GTO. I loaned money to a friend to buy a Ford GTA. Not an uncommon kind of buy, ‘back then’.

      6+
      • BRAKTRCR

        But he had the extra $1000 to buy the ZR1 , but not the $1200 for insurance? Still sounds odd to me

        3+
      • Aaron M.

        stevee,

        Thank you for serving. I spent my time in the service in mid-to-late 80s, so I missed VietNam. But, I have immense respect for all who served.

        Best,
        Aaron

        1+
    • grant

      They may have refused to sell him a policy. Had the same issue on a 944 turbo as a 19 year old army pfc.

      7+
      • Andre

        Same. But my case was even more bizarre. My company at the time simply would not insure me on a then-current turbo/AWD Eagle Talon. …I had to go elsewhere.

        2+
  2. Gearheaddropping

    Taking bets on a mouse nest inside that air cleaner….

    24+
    • Jeffro

      The mouse nest adds 10+ horsepower. Was a factory option in 1972.

      15+
    • Keith

      I believe that was called the Speedy Gonzales option, code RA33 according to the Corvette Red Book.

      7+
    • Pa Tina

      And the mice were able to get insurance because they were married with children.

      7+
  3. Bob

    I’m afraid that I can’t get exited about the Corvettes beyond the 54-67 cars. I know the suspension technology is better in the newer cars, but I am just not a great fan of the styling.
    Now, if it was a ZR-1, that would be a whole other story….

    3+
  4. Jeffro

    WTH? Trying to figure out if this guy is smart for not driving it…or dumb for not driving it. I need to think on this one!

    21+
  5. Dan

    I bought my first corvette, a 1966 L-79 roadster in 1973…..went to insurance company and got a nice quote, then 2 months later they called me and said “oh we misfigured”……wanted to quadruple it….told them just cancel….drove it for 4 years with not a dime of insurance…til I sold it..

    20+
  6. Joe Haska

    I liked the comment on the $100k 240 “whatever it was”, the reader said “Some body should write a book full of all these stories”, and then you could try to figure out if its T or F. That’s exactly, what I am doing right now, in the past I have been pretty naïve ,but after reading comments on Barn Finds, I am a little more dubious, even on this Corvette!

    0
  7. Joe

    Those days it was a little easier to skip the insurance. The digital age makes sure we behave… If I came across the right 6 numbers on a lottery ticket, this would get obtained and gone over completely. Then I’d drive the wheels off of it. My view of an “investment” like this is how many smiles per gallon I can get out of it, not how pristine it is sitting in a different garage.

    22+
    • Greg

      I couldn’t agree more Joe! What’s the point of buying a hot car like this if you’re not going to drive and enjoy it.

      8+
  8. Stu

    If I were the owner of said vehicle, I would have kept it in a safe environment and in pristine condition. To let this beautiful car just sit all these years, unprotected from the elements, is just plain criminal.

    6+
    • LIL RED VETTE

      hey stu… did you even look at pictures…hasn’t been sitting in the elements…sitting in a storage unit with dust and alittle mildew showing on seat edge, dust on engine mouse nest in a/c snorkle….give it a break….it’s had a long rest already….

      0
  9. 408interceptor

    Looks like some corrosion under the hood and mildew on the seats. I’m not so sure this car is well preserved, he couldn’t even cover it, really?

    7+
  10. Barzini

    I would rather have 45 years of memories driving a 454 Vette (now well worn with high mileage) than the car sitting in this garage with nearly no miles. But hey, that’s just me and I am not passing judgment.

    11+
  11. Pa Tina

    His final words- “I wish I drove the Corvette more”

    8+
  12. John

    Plan on becoming familiar with the terms “seal” and “gasket”. A car that has sat still this long will likely need for every single one of them to be replaced (including inside that mystical “4bbl carburetor”). And in its first few miles, plan on a stop at the first “tires-r-us” location.

    I think I would rather have one that had been driven and maintained, regardless of the mileage.

    8+
  13. Rustytech

    I only had one experience with insuring a Corvette, I bought one in 1973, it was a 1967 with a blown motor. I had a big block ( 396 ) that needed a home. I called the insurance company about a week later to get insurance before getting tags for it. The quote I got was in the stratosphere! I think I managed to make 2 payments before I was forced to sell the car. ( I was 20 at the time ) I learned quickly that if you wanted fast, buy a plain Jane car with a big engine! My next car was a 1968 Biscaine 2 dr sedan with a 396ci intercepter. Insurance was dirt cheap.

    11+
    • GaryHPA

      That is why I have a SHO instead of a new Mustang GT. Same idea, different era.

      Insurance gets stupid expensive on a high performance vehicles, especially for younger drivers. It becomes a bigger consideration than the purchase price.

      0
  14. Tom Member

    That’s is when you remind your agent (years later) no, no, no I said Corvette not Chevette! You must have misunderstood me!! (Hee hee hee hee!!!!)

    4+
  15. Mr. TKD

    It should find a home in a museum.

    2+
  16. J Paul

    But…does it come with a mahogany display case?

    2+
  17. Howard A Member

    Yeah, that’s a nice story, but as usual, I don’t buy it. At the risk of sounding redundant, I don’t think this has a lot of miles, but it certainly doesn’t have under a thousand. I’d check the speedo cable. And it must have been caught in the rain with the top down, this car is a mess.

    3+
  18. Scott Lempert

    I think you meant “ZL1” in the article…..now that would have been an incredible Barn Find!

    0
    • Pa Tina

      ZR-1 and ZR-2 options were available back then. Probably as rare today as the ZL-1 option.

      0
  19. irocrob

    So he probably paid fire and theft as well as storage for 45 years. A bad investment for sure….

    2+
  20. Jay E.

    Why the heck wouldn’t you spend the money to have this thing detailed after the ugly shots. I just do not understand the attraction of a dirty sub-1000 mile car. It should look pristine, the finest example on the planet. sigh.

    5+
    • Howard A Member

      Bingo!

      3+
    • RayT Member

      I would guess he didn’t have it cleaned up for photos because he’s not currently trying to sell it. No need to impress potential buyers.

      I wouldn’t have handled the ‘Vette the way he did. But then this would be a story about a tired ’72 with >235,000 miles on it needing a full resto.

      4+
  21. Mike Akerman

    Well i had a 70 roadrunner in 72 and traded for a 70 hemi cuda hemi long gone replaced with 383, but after getting it home was told by insurance company no way in hell were they going to insure it with any motor because it was hemi cuda .it sat for years till i finally traded for rusty 68 roadrunner. My hand to God true story.

    1+
  22. AMXSTEVE

    Insurance is one of the biggest scams on earth. You pay for something that you may never use. Then when you do they have people thinking of ways to not pay you,

    8+
    • Mike Williams

      I agree with you AMXSTEVE. They charge you pl and pd, the expensive part, for every car you own even though you can only drive one at a time,. What a rip off !

      2+
  23. whippeteer

    One would think that in 45 years they would eventually be able to afford insurance and drive it.

    5+
  24. jerry meiergerd

    Maybe he could let the corvette museum use it in the hole!!

    0
  25. mbm

    i was an insurance agent for 20 years, let me say this, before the internet and computers were invented, we used to have the proof of insurance cards in a drawer, blank. we used a type writer and filled them out when someone bought a new policy, and then the company would send them bills ect. everyone used an ibm selectric typewriter, and they were also at the library. if you had a insurance card all you had to do was use white out, change the dates on another typewriter and then make a copy, and your bank was happy. this would work great till you had a claim, lol. anyway, thats how you could make the bank happy until the late 80s or early 90s. depending on the company.

    0
  26. Will Hayes

    I bought a ’68’ L-88 roadster in September of ’67’. I got hit with the insurance problem too.Even GMAC wouldn’t insure it(they all called it “an accident on the way to happening),I said,But You built the car.The guy said we build’em,we don’t insure ’em.My agent that turned me down after I traded my mustang for the ‘Vette finally called me back and said that State Farm ins.had a high risk arm that would insure me (I was 24),and the premium was pretty stiff ($800.00 a Year vs. the mustang @$242.00 year,So I did keep it.Loved goin’ to Nevada,no speed limit in those days…Yeehaw !!

    3+
  27. john

    I love it !! (not the car), .. just the familiar idea of… ‘ran when parked’ !

    1+
  28. Mike Williams

    I bought a 79 Corvette 12 years old at a auction on a bidders war. When I went to insure it, mine wouldn’t so I went to someone else, but they said it had to be a 2nd car. So I insured a parked Sunbeam just to inssure the Corvette. Well a month later they wanted to double it, so I canceled and parked it on the lawn until I found a sucker that would trade me a 86 Mustang SVO for it, and I even got boot, wah hoo.

    1+
  29. Utes

    Unreal story…., but then who would’ve thought enough to plug the air cleaner snorkels to keep out nut-eating rodents?

    0
  30. Utes

    The absurd joke is his final decision of an LS5 over a ZR1, w/that drivetrain being no less a of a real threat to his safety. If that salesman laid that BS on me I would’ve wanted to see his boss, & if stonewalled any further I would’ve been out the door!

    0
  31. Beemerboy88

    The part of the story that is the MOST unbelievable is the part where he states the tires have never gone flat and there is no dry rot. (It’s under one of the pictures on the Hot Rod article. That’s when I called BS…. Just not possible. We all know that. I let me Mustang sit for just 6 months and the tires are nearly flat. Maybe he got the tires filled with Nitrogen? Doubt it….

    0
    • BRAKTRCR

      I have 2 large trucks sitting outside in Southern Utah Both trucks have 6 wheels/tires No flats in 10+ years one doesn’t run just sits the other does run and drive. Could be because they are 22 inch truck tires

      0
  32. Jack T

    In November 1961 (at age 19), I special-ordered a 1962 Vette with road racing specs. On delivery, it was added to my parent’s insurance policy. Done deal.

    0
  33. Mike Akerman

    And then ten years later whole different story. It would not work like that in the seventys

    0

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